Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Max Ernst @ The Met / Diane Arbus, Too

Max Ernst
Through July 10, 2005
Ah, good old Max Ernst, the first multimedia artist. I forgot how various and varied his work could be. This show is a knockout on several fronts: for the sheer quantity of iconic works and for the range of formats included. The only works missing from this retrospective are the miniscule paintings from the Arizonia years. This exhibition is a must-see for anyone unfamiliar with his technically expansive paintings, his inspired and lurid collages and the “frottages” made of rubbings of diverse textures.

Diane Arbus Revelations
March 8, 2005–May 30, 2005

I ducked in to see the Diane Arbus photos on exhibit; it’s a good double bill with the Max Ernst show. You could easily see both shows without getting “museum-headache” –that awful feeling of information overload that one gets at the larger museums… the shows complement each other in odd ways, maybe because they are so foreign to each other yet there is a shared eeriness or tinge of voyeuristic pleasure in transgressing “good taste” that makes these shows so prescient right now.
I recently watched Kubrick’s masterful “The Shining” and realized for the first time that the Diane Arbus Twins
was the inspiration for Kubrick’s treatment of the sibling ghost sisters in the film; no wonder they are so haunting. “If you’re going to steal, steal from someone good.”

Just for fun, see the twins on this page (towards the bottom of the page).

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